Survey Uncovers Financial Industry Challenges
Financial services organizations rely heavily on information found on public websites, social networks, and web portals to monitor markets, track the competition, identify suspicious fraud activity, maintain sanction lists, automate processes with B2B partners, and listen to what customers are saying. Access to these external sources of both structured and unstructured information typically requires manual integration. This leads to tedious searching, copying and pasting of data into spreadsheets, databases, or applications. This information is very often time sensitive, so organizational reliance on manual processes defeats the notion this gathered information is timely. Time is money.
These organizations also depend on an IT infrastructure to meet these needs and data integration requirements must address the growing need of accessing external data sources. Integrating internal systems with external data sources can be challenging to say the least, especially when organizations are constantly adding new external sources of information to their operations, and these external websites and web portals either don’t provide APIs or the development efforts are too time consuming and costly. Keep in mind, if IT is struggling to keep up with demands of the business to add new sources of information and eliminate manual repetitive activities involving the handling and processing information now, the chance of keeping pace is a target that becomes unobtainable for most financial services organizations.
A recent Computerworld.com survey of 100 financial services professionals highlights the challenges of acquiring and integrating data from multiple data sources, including external websites and web portals. This survey revealed troubling challenges facing the financial industry. Here’s a few highlights:
- Struggles of integrated external sources: 43% of the participating financial institutions are struggling with a lack of integration between external data sources and internal systems. Of those external sources that financial services organizations need to integrate with, 84% are web portals where business information needs to be extracted and integrated with internal systems and processes.
- Manual or hard-coded integration: 55% of respondents reported that the integration of data between external sources and internal systems either involves users manually transferring data, or is done through custom integration development that involves a more hard coded approach that does not scale out to support the many external sources of data.
- Manual data handling: These financial organizations identified the time required to manual import data and perform validations, as the two most costly results challenges when it comes to not being able to integrate external data sources.
- Deployment delays: Overall, respondents want a solution that quickly adapts to varying data sources, unfortunately integration projects often takes months to complete. Only 8% of the financial services responding indicated that an external information integration project is completed in less than a month, and 31% reported it takes more than 3 months to complete, illustrating the need to find a faster and more efficient way to perform external data integration.
The bottom line is manual processes no longer fit into any financial organization business process. It’s clear these time consuming development projects used to integrate external data sources into an enterprise infrastructure are not a long-term viable strategy.
Financial organizations depend on data, whether it’s being used to transform industries, grow market share, defend brands, or protect customers. It takes an alternative approach to integrating data, one that cannot simply rely on traditional development tools and custom one-off projects. Data integration platforms that are easy to deploy and customize are the next step for external data integration.